The unique audio-visual music show revives the works of a number of Egyptian singers of the early 20th century, including Mounira El-Mahdeya, Hayat Sabry, Fatma Serry, Saleh Abdel-Hay and Abdel-Latif El-Banna.
“These glorious artists took me into a magnificent promenade that I am happy to share with the audience,” Mounir told Ahram Online.
Launched in October at the Arab Music Institute Theater after almost six years of research and preparation, Nozhet El-Nofous is a live performance of Mounir’s new arrangements that accompany repaired song recordings of Abdel-Hay’s ‘Khafif Khafif’, El-Banna’s ‘Matkhafsh Alayya’, El-Mahdeya’s ‘Baad El Esha’, Sabry’s ‘Wallah Testahel Ya Albi’ and Serry’s ‘Ana Bas Saktalak’.
“The project is like a discovery tour to explore what happened before the Umm Kulthum era. An interesting and inspiring journey to see where we stand now and to know the relationship with our ancestors,” Mounir said.
The show will be presented this Friday 8 April at Rawabet Art Space by the formation that performed it once before; Youssra El Hawary (accordion), Ahmed Amin (double bass), Mounir Maher (piano), and Nancy Mounir (violin and theremin), featuring Nadia Safwat (trumpet) and Felipe Simonsen (trombone) for the first time.
Nozhet El-Nofous show features actors Zainab Magdy and Amr Hosny, both coached by dramaturg Laila Hassan Soliman. The crew also includes Ahmed El-Saaty (projection), Saad Samir Light design, and Nazli Reda (sound engineering).
In collaboration with conductor Youssef Sadek, Mounir is preparing for a bigger performance scheduled in Alexandria on Sunday 17 April, where the arrangements will be expanded. The same formation will be accompanied by the Alexandria Opera House Orchestra, in an anticipated concert at Sayed Darwish Theater.
“Very excited about this concert specifically. First concert for my project in my city of birth and on Sayed Darwish Theater, whose compositions and spirit are present at the project.”
Later, on 27 April, Mounir will present an even more different experience of Nozet El-Nofous at Goethe Institute, where she will unite in a duet with cellist Mohamed Ahmed in an interactive performance where the audience be involved.
“This is different too. I will be exploring new approaches for the show, interacting with the audience in such cozy settings.”
The Alexandria-born Mounir became one of the key players in Cairo’s indie music scene after she moved 14 years ago, influenced by a workshop with Grammy Award winner Fathy Salama in 2005.
She quickly established her career, becoming an essential pillar in projects by Dina El-Wedidi, Massive Scar Era, as well frequent collaborations and features with artists like Massar Egbari, Mazaher Tania Saleh, Karimay Nayt.
Composing and arranging for a number of films and theatre plays, Mounir’s latest music production was for Netflix’s short film ‘National Day of Mourning in Mexico’, directed by renowned Khairy Beshara, in which she appeared as an actress as well.
Rawabet Art Space
Friday 8 April, at 9:30pm
Alexandria Opera House
Sunday 17 April, at 9:30pm
Wednesday 27 April, at 9:30pm